The All Black superstar Eddie Jones compares Tom Curry to
Eddie Jones has said that there is only one player in the world at the moment that is similar to Tom Curry and that is the All Blacks’ Ardie Savea.
The 23-year-old starts at No8 for England against Tonga on Saturday, and while that has been a contentious decision having started at No7 for the British & Irish Lions this year, Jones says that it allows him to mix his game up. The Australian said that Savea is the only player well rounded enough to play at No7 and No8, as he showed against Wales last Saturday when he started at the back of the scrum.
Both players are among the first names on the team sheet for their nations, and Jones explained that Curry’s attacking development over the past few years has allowed him to move to No8.
“Firstly, defensively he’s probably one of the best defensive back rowers in the world,” Jones said.
“His one on one tackling, his ability to get his head over the ball and then since he first came into the squad in 2017, where he mainly came in as a defensive player, he’s evolved his game to include some running skills and some passing skills, and some linkage skills more importantly.
“So with the back row we’ve got initially with Courtney [Lawes], a pretty strong ball runner, and [Sam] Underhill’s strong over the ball, it’ll give Tom a chance to mix his game between running and linking and his defensive work and he’s got the ability to do that.
“There’s two players in the world that are similar at the moment in that aspect, and that’s him and Ardie Savea. Both are natural sevens but have got the capacity to be outstanding No8s because they have the ability to carry the ball, to link and still do the defensive work. So we’re very excited about seeing Tom play at No8.”